Hi-ah Park – 03 The point of mu a, ecstasy, the death of ego
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
How do you come out from sinbyong?
By reaching the point of mu a, ecstasy, the death of ego. Ecstasy is a sensation which is encountered in our hearts. It is seeing and hearing with the heart, rather than just with eyes and ears. It is also a flame which springs up in the heart out of longing, to see and to become one with its truth (God). Atop this mountain there is such clarity that there is no duality.
What place did Sanshin have in your initiation ritual?
In the preparation for initiation ceremony, I had to climb up to the mountain to receive the Mountain Spirit early in the morning by a purifying bath in a cold mountain stream. My Godmother and I had ascended the mountain north of Seoul. She asked me to climb up a steep, rocky cliff to get a branch from a pine tree. This task was the first test of the day. I did as she requested, performing the task necessary to receive Sanshin. We spoke as little as possible. At the mountain altar I offered rice, rice cake, three different kinds of cooked vegetables, fruits, lighted candles and incense and makghuli, home made rice wine.
As my Godmother chanted and beat a small gong, I held up the Sanshin dari, a long piece of cloth called minyong, white cotton bridge, through which the shaman receives the Mountain Spirit.
My body started to quiver uncontrollably, a sign that the Spirit was entering me. I completely surrendered to the Spirit, turning off my internal dialogue, and entered into inner silence. I sensed light coming from every direction, and I started to feel drunk with the Spirit in me. It was dramatic close encounter with the separated “Lover” at long last. I felt the ultimate completion of my primordial self before separation. I knew that the spirit loved me and forgave my long resistance to accepting it. Bathed by the light of Spirit, I felt clean and reborn. I practically flew down the mountain to the town in the valley below. I returned with my Godmother to her house which would become the site of the all-day ritual that was to come.